COVID-19 April 1 Update

TORONTO, April 1, 2020 - Toronto Arts Council is committed to providing accurate and up to date information for the arts community throughout the COVID-19 emergency response period. See here for updated COVID-19 web pages and all prior TAC releases and assembled resources.

Buckle up - there's lots of new information today:

City cancels public events until June 30: Mayor John Tory announced yesterday that the City of Toronto will cancel all City-led major mass participation events, festivals, conferences and cultural programs, and all City permits for major mass participation events at civic centres and squares, parks, public spaces, City-operated museums and cultural centres through June 30.

75% Wage Subsidy update: Finance Minister Bill Morneau has provided some additional information on the previously announced federal 75 per cent wage subsidy. This is now open to businesses of all sizes including charitable and not-for-profit organizations. Additional clarification is being sought regarding the clause that notes it is only open to organizations that do not receive public funding.

Free Strategic Support for Arts Organizations: LEADERSHIP EMERGENCY ARTS NETWORK (LEAN) is an immediate, grassroots, pro bono response network to help Canadian professional non-profit arts organizations (big and small) deal with what is coming at them during this crisis. Celia Smith, Jeanne LeSage and Michele Maheux launched this national initiative a few days ago and already have 55 advisers signed on: sector leaders including board members, current and former arts Executive Directors, consultants, etc. from across the country. If you need help at this time in strategic decision-making, crisis response, financial analysis, board direction, relationship mediation, HR management, systems change or inspirational leadership, they invite you to "LEAN ON US"! Click here for more info and to sign up: LEAN ORG LINK

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB): $500 per week or $2000 per month for individual Canadians that have no source of income due to COVID-19. The online portal to apply for benefits will be ordered by birth date. People born in January through March can apply on April 6, those born in April through June on April 7, those born in July through September on April 8, and those born October through December on April 9. Sign up for My Account at the CRA now.  

TOArtist COVID-19 Response Fund: Since launching last Thursday, over 1,600 artists have reached out to us looking for support and the first round of funds should be received by mid next week. The TOArtist COVID-19 Response Fund is powered by donations. Please forward this link to anyone who might be able to donate and help the fund reach more artists.

Contact TAC: Please note that TAC staff will remain available to answer your questions and provide updated information throughout the outbreak. Please contact us any time.

Other resources: Please see the TAC COVID-19 Updates pages for links and resources including statements from Canada Council for the Arts and Ontario Arts Council.

About Toronto Arts Council
Toronto Arts Council (TAC) is the City of Toronto’s funding body for artists and arts organizations. Since 1974, TAC has played a major role in the city’s cultural industries by supporting a very broad range of artistic activity. From the emerging artist to the most established, from celebrated institutions to arts that challenge convention, TAC is typically the first funder to offer support. Today, TAC grants lead to exhibitions, performances, readings and workshops seen annually by over 9.5 million people. Through its ongoing funding of over $18 million annually, TAC cultivates a rich engagement between artists and audiences. It is proud to reflect Toronto’s vibrancy through the diversity of the artists, arts communities and audiences that it serves. For more about Toronto Arts Council, visit

Contact Information
For information, please contact Susan Wright, Deputy Director:416-392-6802 x 211 |